Every year a magnificent affiliation ceremony for the new cadets of the boarding school No. 9 for girls is held at the War History Museum in Moscow. Eleven year old girls swear to serve the Motherland and be faithful to Russia.

Girl soldiers

The Moscow Girls' Cadet Boarding School is one of the new elite military academies in Russia. While most kids hate school for boring maths or history, the classes here include stripping down an AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle. And the girls can do it in the time it takes most kids to send an SMS. With a curriculum that includes drill, arms, first aid and federal law, one might expect it to turn into little Amazons. But femininity is also highly valued, so the evenings are reserved for such activities as sewing, ballet and compulsory choir practice. There are no mini-skirts and swear words, no smoking and drinking, and no hanging about unattended about unattended. Mobile phones are also banned except for a few minutes a day to talk with parents. A traditional Russian Winter Ball gives the girls a rare chance to meet the opposite sex, in this case from a nearby all-male boarding school boarding school called Moscow Cossacks Cadet Corps - another military-style academy founded during the Putin years.